FROM this week specially trained non-firearms officers from Sussex Police will be able to use Taser stun guns.
Sussex Police say it brings them in line with other forces acrosss the country,
Previously Sussex Police was one of a small number of forces which restricted the use of Taser to authorised firearms officers only.
Around 160 officers from local response and support teams have now received, or are receiving, training to use Taser in situations where there is a real threat of violence. This means around eight per cent of police officers in the Force will be trained in the use of Taser, compared to the national average of around 11.5 per cent.
Once trained, officers will be available to support colleagues dealing with violent or threatening situations and will reduce the number of times armed response units are deployed.
Chief Superintendent Paul Morrison of Sussex Police’s said: “Experience shows that simply the presence of Taser acts as a deterrent to the escalation of violence. Nearly 70 percent of incidents where there is a possibility of using Taser, end without it being discharged. Studies have shown the presence of Taser reduces the levels of force required by officers in violent situations avoiding, for example, the use of a baton or captor spray. In a significant number of cases simply the drawing and aiming of Taser is enough incentive for the person posing the threat to comply with officers.
“Authority to use Taser will still have to be granted by senior officers, as has always been the case, and it is not the first option. “An equivalent of a ‘black box’ is stored within the Taser so that each deployment can be monitored.”